In collaboration with Gucci Guilty and Chime for Change for KidSave. Los Angeles
“I started working with KidSave through Gucci. I’ve been working with Gucci Guilty and Chime for Change for a few years now. I was always asking to be more involved with some kind of work involving girls and kids so this was kind of the perfect fit. I realized that there was just a lot I didn’t know about the foster care system and how girls were so much vulnerable when they age out. They’re just the perfect prey for all kinds of predators, they have no life skills, unless they have somebody like a mentor to check in with and have some kind of guidance and some kind of self-esteem or someone that believes in them just all those things are so important. So, when I heard about this and all the work they’re doing, not just here, but internationally too, I was really moved by the whole thing.” -Evan
Blame it on the ubiquity of social media—there are some actors we just feel like we know. As in, the kind of person you could bitch with at brunch over bottomless mimosas and contemplate the entire concept of brunch as cultural currency with (if you're into that sort of thing). Take Evan Rachel Wood, for instance. We vividly remember her debut in Thirteen—after all, it's right up there with Mean Girls and Jawbreaker in terms of movies that are an irrevocable part of girl culture. And since then, we've watched her not only carve out her own niche in Hollywood and play everything from a manipulative high-school student and the subject of a Beatles epic to a vampire, but also become the face of Gucci Guilty—we mean, who doesn't have those epic commercial spots engraved in their subconscious?
So when Gucci Guilty invited us to spend a day in Ventura with Wood at a day camp put on by the organization KidSave, which receives funding from the storied house's Chime for Change charity, we jumped at the chance. And believe us when we say our day was a throwback to our glory days. Wood supports Chime for Change, (founded by Frida Giannini, Salma Hayek and Beyonce to promote the rights, health and education of women and girls, so, uh, there's that) and donated $25,000 to KidSave on behalf of Gucci Fragrance, to benefit this weekend's mentor camp for girls in foster care—a cause that she admits has become close to her heart now that she's a mom. In other words, the organization essentially took over an overnight camp in the heart of Malibu. Um, can you say dream day?
“Being a mom has definitely inspired me to want to do important work with children. Especially children who don’t have parents and don’t have that guidance and don’t have that lifeline.”
Needless to say, the whole scene was the exact kind of thing that makes us feel all warm inside, watching as Wood and Randi Thompson, CEO of KidSave International, bonded with the girls. And, us being us, we of course found a way to get in a little fashion and beauty talk, too—we mean, it's girl talk. Oh, and just for the record, Wood is a testament to not sacrificing your style after becoming a mother. She's a 'cool mom'... actually. But seriously: Evan—when can we see that closet?
“Honestly, I feel like my style hasn’t really changed that much. I think, because I remember being a teenager and thinking, when I’m a mom I’m still going to wear Converse and I’m still going to wear leather and I do. I was going to be a rock and roll mom!”
“The goal of the camp is to help these girls develop trust and openness to healthy relationships and really to jumpstart connections so that girls can end up with volunteer host families and ultimately permanent families and connections.” - Randi
“My favorite [advice] is always be the change that you want to see. Spend lots of time with your family, volunteer once a month, practice empathy; practice putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to feel what they feel. Write down 10 things that you’re grateful for every day. The more you can be grateful for, the more you’ll notice a change in your attitude and your perspective.”
“[If I could leave these girls with one thing, it would be] empowerment. I think that’s where change begins and change in yourself begins. You just have to believe in yourself and you have to know that you're capable and you have to feel empowered. So if they can leave here with some new sense of confidence or self-esteem I think that goes such a long way.”
“KidSave is an advocacy organization that works to create change in child welfare systems so that kids everywhere, who are growing up in orphanages or in foster care, have the opportunity to grow up in families and connected to caring adults. We started KidSave when my co-founder actually adopted a little baby in Russia and then came back telling me about the terrible conditions for children that were growing up without love and without holding, shaved heads, ten in a playpen. I shortly after that I was working in Kazakhstan, so I figured I’d go see for myself, but I didn’t go to an orphanage for babies, I went to one for older children and what I saw there was so much worse. I mean, these were kids who were 7-18 [were] basically being warehoused, given a 4th grade education and then put out on the street. What we found was that there were lots of people working on babies, lots of adoption agencies finding children for families, religious groups starting orphanages, people donating food and clothing, but there weren’t really anybody tackling the problem of kids should not be growing up in an institutional environment or in temporary foster care. And so after trying to help others do it, we decided to start KidSave.” - Randi Thompson, CEO & Executive Director of KidSave International